The Anna’s House Foundation, 2020 ONE Awards Finalist

Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will host the 2020 Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards on Friday, April 24, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the 21 finalists in seven categories.

The Anna’s House Foundation (AHF), located in Edmond, Okla., is one of three finalists in the Community category.

“What an honor it is to be nominated for the ONE awards,” said Katherine Craig, executive director, AHF. “We are proud to share with our community the impact we have on providing safe, loving foster homes for children in foster care, while successfully keeping brothers and sisters together. We hope through this event we are able to shed light on the foster care crisis in our state, and the ways every single person can help make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children.”

According to the AHF website, there are approximately 8,000 children in foster care in Okla., including 2,000 in Okla. county with half under the age of six. AHF’s mission is “to provide immediate, stable and loving homes for Okla. county’s children in state custody.”

AHF was founded in August 2009, when Anna was two years old. Anna was born premature and pronounced legally dead in the Okla. county jail. Soon after her kinship placement failed, Anna was diagnosed with double pneumonia. She spent 70 nights in Children’s Hospital. Her only visitor was her Department of Human Services worker.

The Harkins family learned about Anna and began spending time with her in the hospital, before bringing her into their home as a foster child. On January 28, 2009, the Harkins family adopted Anna.

In order to become a foster care family, the family must complete training, background checks, fingerprinting, home studies and understand fostering is temporary. The ultimate goal is to reunite a child with their family, however adoption may become an option.

“The idea of fostering was overwhelming, but with help from AHF our first placement has gone so smoothly,” said Sara Kaelber, AHF foster mom. “’From loading us up with diapers and clothes, to giving us advice about court dates and WIC, we have the support we need to be a success.”

AHF works with foster families to ensure they have the resources foster families need to be successful, while keeping the foster child connected to their own kin, community and culture.

“AHF has been there for us in many capacities, from training and equipping us at the start of the fostering process to providing us with necessities such as diapers, toys and clothes,” said Sandy and Scott Teel, AHF foster parents. “Our worker has been there to guide us through all of our placements – educating us on the process as well as what to be concerned about and what to not worry about. She has been instrumental in helping us with these children.”

To learn more about the Anna’s House Foundation visit their website:
https://annashousefoundation.org/

To learn more about the 2020 ONE Awards or to purchase tickets visit the OKCNP website:
https://www.OKCNP.org/connect/one-awards/

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